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Arch Emerg Med. 1992 June; 9(2): 134–142.
PMCID: PMC1285850

Complaints against doctors in an accident and emergency department: a 10-year analysis.


We carried out an analysis of complaints against doctors in our Accident and Emergency Department received from 1 January 1979 to 31 December 1988. There were 66 complainants in all, comprising 37 relatives, 21 patients and eight persons acting in a professional capacity. The majority of complaints (80 out of 125) were about poor communication and dissatisfaction with diagnosis and treatment. A small number of complainants had unrealistic expectations of the Accident and Emergency service. A total of 83.3% of complaints were against Senior House Officers who saw 61.3% of all patients. We concluded that an improvement in the communicative, diagnostic and therapeutic skills of doctors would minimize justified complaints.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Richmond PW. Complaints and litigation--three years experience at a busy accident and emergency department 1983-5. Health Trends. 1989 May;21(2):42–45. [PubMed]
  • Schwartz LR, Overton DT. Emergency department complaints: a one-year analysis. Ann Emerg Med. 1987 Aug;16(8):857–861. [PubMed]

Articles from Archives of Emergency Medicine are provided here courtesy of BMJ Publishing Group